Many entrepreneurs would of had a strong vision for their business at the beginning of 2020 along with a strategy of approach, which may now look completely different to now! The businesses which not only survived but thrived during 2020 were those that embraced the “new normal” and were able to incorporate it into their core activities. While it may have been tempting for many leaders to stick their heads in the sand and ride it out, others were quick to adapt in a way that kept them and their employees working and their customers happy. Music school manager Vicki Workman shares 5 tips on how the turbulent times of the pandemic can help shape you as a better leader in 2021.
In uncertain times, employees and clients can feel confused and overwhelmed as old routines suddenly no longer exist or become replaced by new ones. Letting everyone know that you are putting a plan in place to help alleviate this is a big win and helps bring back a sense of calm and control to their lives.
People look for leadership and competency and if your clients see that you are working hard to make the transition, they will respect you and be more likely to stick around. Once you have your new plan in place, communicate it early and often with your clients via as many channels as you can (phone, email, Facebook & WhatsApp groups etc) to let them know how it will work and benefit them. This will let them know you have it under control and will and to encourage them to stay on their customer journey with you. Regular communication also allows your clients to feel part of a community, which was more important than ever in 2020!
Whenever you make any changes to your business, it’s important to be honest if you don’t yet have all the answers. Many businesses will have pivoted to entirely new ways of working in 2020, therefore it’s normal to expect teething problems, especially in the early stages. Instead of pretending you have all the answers, be humble and let your clients know you are working hard to iron out any issues that come up as you go along. Your clients will understand and be more likely to stick around.
The chances are your business already had processes in place for staff and customers to follow. But as the world changed in 2020, these processes likely shifted.
Your staff and customers therefore need to be kept up to date not only on what you will be doing for them but what is now expected of them to engage with your service. Are you now seeing them online, instead of in-person? If so, which platform are you using and how do they log on? Make sure you have set clear expectations for all your clients and that they understand how your business now operates.
Finally, some of us worked harder than ever in 2020, ensuring our businesses were still able to operate and stay profitable!
And many of us were able to cut out long commutes, effectively winning back several hours a day. But, as the boundaries between work and life became more and more blurred, it has become more important than ever to ensure we are taking time out to recharge our batteries. So if you are working from home, ensure you are factoring in plenty of down time to help you stay fresh and motivated. Try to get into a routine where you start and finish work at the same time every day, get fresh air, exercise and spend time with those you love. Don’t feel guilty about taking time out – your staff and clients will thank you for it in the end!